No one could have not felt the abject horror of seeing the images of the inferno that consumed the Grenfell tower in the summer of 2017. Over 71 people are known to have perished in the fire with suggestions that we’ll never really know the true death toll.
The fire broke out at a time that was already socially-speaking, highly charged. We were heading into a general election after the UK had already opted to exit europe – largely over the issue of immigration. There was a growing concern about the divide between the rich and the poor and affordable housing in London had become a thing of the past as property meant more as an investment commodity than it did as homes for families.
The Grenfell tower fire seemed to epitomise everything that had become ugly about the UK. The dehumanisation of immigrants, a new angry rhetoric and the growth of a disenfranchised underclass. All of this, in the context of a community, where poverty and wealth have become unlikely neighbours.
Shadowland is a discrete project put together by myself and my long term artistic collaborator Laurie Griffiths (Griffiths & Tacon) in April 2018. The images concern themselves with the impact the tragedy has had on the community and the omnipresent nature of the remaining shell of the tower. The sense that the area is still very much in a state of mourning befalls the casual visitor but nearly one year on a sense of normality is gradually returning to the surrounding community who are naturally hugely scarred by the tragedy.